For Immediate Release
Michael Briggs (202) 228-6492
Minimum Wage Too Low to Keep Working Families Out of Poverty, New Report Finds
WASHINGTON - The federal minimum wage is leaving millions of families in poverty, according to a new study prepared by the Government Accountability Office for Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.).
Only 5 percent or less of families with a low-wage worker received TANF cash assistance at least once in the last year between 1995 and 2016.
- In 2016, most single-parent families (82 percent) with a minimum wage earner lived below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
- In 2016, 37 percent of all families with a minimum wage earner lived below 200 percent of the federal poverty line. Twenty-four percent of all families earning between $12 to $16 per hour lived below 200 percent of the federal poverty line.
- A hypothetical low-wage worker ages 25 to 64:
- earning $7.25 per hour or less would have annual earnings of $12,441 – making them eligible for Medicaid, SNAP, EITC and ACTC
- earning $7.25 to $12 per hour would have annual earnings of $20,592 – making them eligible for Medicaid, SNAP, EITC and ACTC
- earning $12 to $16 per hour would have annual earnings of $30,784 – making them eligible for EITC and ACTC
- The percent of workers earning $12 to $16 per hour with college degrees increased from 16 percent in 1995 to 22 percent in 2016.
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United States Senator for Vermont